Policy 4

Track 19
Thursday, October 26, 2023
10:45 AM - 12:40 PM
Meeting Room E3.1


Agenda Item Image
Prof Bob Mash
Executive Head Of Department Of Family And Emergency Medicine
Stellenbosch University

Community orientated primary care – an African model of primary health care with a global reach

10:45 AM - 11:40 AM


Community-orientated primary care (COPC) is a model of service delivery for primary health care that has emerged from the African continent. Fundamentally it changes the focus of the primary health care team from the practice population (those that come to the practice) to the population at risk (those that live in the catchment area). Originally described in South Africa in the 1940s it embraces all the essential components of primary health care – an integration of primary care and public health, community engagement and empowerment as well as multisectoral engagement and action. Family medicine on the African continent teaches the principles of COPC and equips family physicians to take the lead in implementing COPC and care coordination. In some countries national and sub-national policy has embraced the principles of COPC with a primary health care team that is both facility- and community-based. The model of COPC has also been exported to many other countries, both high-income and low/middle-income countries.

In this professional forum the four speakers will outline:
• The principles of COPC as a model of service delivery
• The experience of implementing COPC on the African continent in both Kenya and South Africa
• The contribution of family doctors to the implementation of COPC
• The role of community health workers in the implementation of COPC.

This will be followed by a discussion on the applicability of COPC to family doctors from different contexts.


Participants will take away an understanding of COPC and how it has been implemented on the African continent, and can reflect on how this model of care might apply in their own setting.


Bob Mash is a family physician in South Africa and Head of the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care at Stellenbosch University. He is Chair of the Primary Health Care Research Consortium, Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine and co-ordinator of the PRIMAFAMED network in sub-Saharan Africa. He is an Honorary Life Direct Member of WONCA, and has co-edited the WONCA books ‘How to do Primary Care Research’, and ‘International Perspectives on Primary Care Research’.
Agenda Item Image
Dr Innocent Besigye
Senior Lecturer
Makerere University

Building the Primary Health Care Team for comprehensive person and family centered care

11:45 AM - 12:40 PM


Background/Introduction: The declaration of Astana and the vision of Primary Health Care (PHC) for the 21st century clearly stipulates that PHC is the gateway to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UH). High performing PHC systems should be based on team-based care with adequate skills mix to provide the needed comprehensive health services. The African Forum for Primary Health Care (AfroPHC), an African-based organization focused on strengthening PHC for UHC has been developing a policy document that is useful in advocacy for strengthening PHC systems with multi-disciplinary teams as one of the avenues.
Aim: To learn from each other how to build effective PHC teams to deliver comprehensive services person and family centered care
1. To share with participants the activities of AfroPHC in the region and globally
2. To discuss the policy document and get feedback from the participants
3. To collaboratively learn on forming PHC teams for delivery of comprehensive PHC services.
Methods: The policy paper developed by AfroPHC will be presented to the participants. This will be followed by a discussion on the content and utility of the policy document as an advocacy tool.
An open discussion on PHC team composition and function will be conducted with participants reflecting on the experiences from their contexts, drawing on pitfalls and lessons learnt
Notes will be taken during the workshop and a summary will be presented at the end.
Output: Participants will have an insight on how to build PHC teams to deliver the PHC services according to the needs of the communities served.
Formation of collaborative networks with a focus on developing PHC teams in different WONCA regions for strengthening PHC and achieving UHC.


1. Understand the process of building PHC teams
2. Build PHC teams for provision of comprehensive PHC services
3. Provide people-centred PHC services


Innocent Besigye is a Senior Lecturer of Family Medicine at Makerere University. Innocent is a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University, primary care researcher and Assistant Editor of the African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine